Looking at some of the shoes in the shops recently, I can't help wondering whether they're a manifestation of some sort of conspiracy by designers against women foolish enough to buy and wear them. I'm all for unwearable shoes if they are, at heart, beautiful, and have a few pairs in my cupboard to prove it; but when I'm wandering round Lane Crawford's shoe department, frequently I'll pick up a pair that look wonderful only for the nasty aftertaste to hit straight away - the Lanvin shoes above are a classic example (from the excellent Browns website). Elegant in almost every way, and strangely compelling, but then your senses are assaulted the deplorable uber-wedge under the toes, and it's all over.
One fall-out from the year-long hangover of the Marie Antoinette film starring, risibly, Kirsten Dunst as la reine Marie, has been pre-revolution style excesses all over the catwalk : crinolines anyone? Designers like to think they echo what's happening in the wider world, but draining ideas from a Hollywood movie is just fashion eating itself. Perhaps it's just a rehash of the Christian Dior "New Look" subterfuge of 1947: post-war austerity startlingly countered by dresses requiring acres of material which, coincidentally of course, required the services - and consequently revived the fortunes - of France's struggling material manufacturers.